BAMAD no.46

 DNA and 
 Anthropology Updates 

Updates in DNA studies along with Anthropological Notes of general interest with a particular emphasis on points pertinent to the study of Ancient Israelite Ancestral Connections to Western Peoples as explained in Brit-Am studies.


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BAMAD no. 46
Brit-Am Anthropology and DNA Update
24th February 2009, 18 Shevet 5769
1. Do Older fathers Endanger their offspring? Or Enhance them?
(a) Brit-Am Comment: Enhancement?
(b) Paternal Age Effect: How Old is Too Old?
2. Heroes are born not made, scientists claim 
3. Y chromosomes and surnames in Britain

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1. Do Older fathers Endanger their offspring? Or Enhance them?
(a) Brit-Am Comment: Enhancement?
The article below brings varied sources saying that not only do older mothers tend to have more children
born with problems but so do older fathers.
These facts are worth knowing.
On the other hand, I was told by Mordecai Lapid that there is another side to the story.
Mordecai Lapid was a friend and neighbor of mine when I lived in Kiryat Arba near Hebron.
Mordecai was murdered by Arabs in a drive-by shooting in 1993.
##On Dec. 6, 1993, Mordechai Lapid, 56, a pioneer of Kiryat Arba and a father of 13 children, stopped his minibus near his settlement and waited with his 19-year-old son, Shalom, who was taking a bus to Jerusalem. Palestinian Arab gunmen attacked the minibus from a passing car, killing both father and son, and wounding in the legs three other children: Yosi, 10; Bezalel, 11; and Haim, 17.##
Mordecai Lapid worked in transport but he had a major interest  in scientific matters especially genetics.
He conducted researches of his own.
Mordecai  was born in Russia and his work was conducted in Russian or Hebrew.
According to Mordecai many men of great talent have been born from older men and younger women.
He believed that there was something special about the age deference that gave an advantage.
Unfortunately Arab bullets did not allow us to receive any more details.
In the Bible we have the case of Ruth and Boaz where Ruth was quite young and Boaz according to tradition exceedingly old.
Fromt heir line emerged King David and the Future Messiah.
Jon Entine, "Abraham's Children. Race, Identity and the DNA of the Chosen People", USA, 2007 also brings up the possibility that "Eugenic" considerations may be eliminating some of our geniuses.
We have also spoken of this in the past.

(b) Paternal Age Effect: How Old is Too Old?

It is widely recognized that a 40-year-old woman has an increased risk of bearing a child with Down syndrome. What is not known is that a 40-year-old man has the same risk of fathering a child with schizophrenia,   and even higher odds of his offspring having autism. The risk of bipolar disorder appears to rise as well.
In the past couple of decades, the number of older fathers has increased. Birth rates for men older than 40 have jumped as much as 40 percent since 1980.

Researchers had analyzed medical records in Israel, where all young men and most women must report to the draft board for mandatory medical, intelligence and psychiatric screening. They found that children born to fathers 40 or older had nearly a sixfold increase in the risk of autism as compared with kids whose fathers were younger than 30. Children of fathers older than 50 (that includes me) had a ninefold risk of autism.

The researchers said that advanced paternal age, as they call it, has also been linked to an increased risk of birth defects, cleft lip and palate, water on the brain, dwarfism, miscarriage and "decreased intellectual capacity."

The genetic code we are familiar with is expressed in the DNA itself. But there is a second genetic code, separate from what is embedded in the DNA. To distinguish it from the genetic code, it is referred to as "epigenetic" information. It is like a bar code imprinted on the outside of a gene. The information in that bar code can turn the gene on or off, sometimes inappropriately. If it turns the wrong genes on or off, it can affect health and disease just as surely as can changes in the DNA itself.

Malaspina has not yet proved it, but she suspects that as men grow older they develop defects in the machinery that stamps this code on the genes. These imprinting defects may give rise to the increased risk of schizophrenia, autism and perhaps some of the other ailments related to paternal age.

Leading Researchers in the Field of the Male Biological Clock Agree


This is a biological fact based on the hundreds of research studies and research grants of the finest, most intelligent and compassionate scientists in many related fields.

Another Brit-Am Comment on the above:
We have quoted extracts from this source since the information is worth noting.
The URL article provides much more detail and explanation.
The author of the article who collated the sources is however (as he admits) prejudiced on this matter due to he himself having fathered at mature age a child with problems.
The traditional Jewish religious attitude is that as long as a person can have children he should do so if this is possible.

2. Heroes are born not made, scientists claim


Professor Deane Aikins, a psychiatrist at Yale University, said a small minority of individuals remain cool even in the most stressful circumstances.

His findings, based on research with the military, found that some individuals did not panic because their body naturally protected them.

Unlike the majority of people who were flooded with a stress hormone, they had much lower levels and also showed signs of another hormone that actually calmed them down.

He referred to Chesley Sullenberger, the pilot of the aeroplane that was successfully landed on the Hudson River in New York last month, as an example.

"There are some individuals who when confronted with extreme stress their hormone profile is rather unique," he said.

"Certain people are cooler under pressure and they perform very, very well during these periods of time."

Professor Aikins, who outlined his findings at the American Association for the Advancement of Science annual meeting, studied hormone stress levels during extreme training exercises like mock survival or combat swimming.

He said that while there was no such thing as a "man without fear" certain people were better equipped to deal with it.

He said that it was not that the "heroes" were not scared but they just did not exhibit signs of panic.

He said US special forces as a group tend to "run cooler" than non-special forces. He said it was too early to say what percentage of men were born heroes.

3. Y chromosomes and surnames in Britain
Some haplogroups that are rare (less than 10%) or absent in the controls exist at high frequencies within particular surnames: examples are hgA1a in R., E1a in Bray, G in Wadsworth, J2 in Ketley, T in Feakes, Q* in Mallinson, R1* in Northam, and R1a in Swindlehurst (Figure 2a). Attenborough provides the clearest signal of coancestry, with 87% of chromosomes belonging to hgE1b1b1, which is present at only 1% in controls.

Molecular Biology and Evolution doi:doi:10.1093/molbev/msp022

Founders, drift and infidelity: the relationship between Y chromosome diversity and patrilineal surnames

Turi E. King and Mark A. Jobling


Most heritable surnames, like Y chromosomes, are passed from father to son. These unique cultural markers of coancestry might therefore have a genetic correlate in shared Y chromosome types among men sharing surnames, although the link could be affected by mutation, multiple foundation for names, nonpaternity, and genetic drift. Here, we demonstrate through an analysis of 1678 Y-chromosomal haplotypes within 40 British surnames a remarkably high degree of coancestry that generally increases as surnames become rarer. On average, the proportion of haplotypes lying within descent clusters is 62%, but ranges from zero to 87%. The shallow timedepth of many descent clusters within names, the lack of a detectable effect of surname derivation on diversity, and simulations of surname descent suggest that genetic drift through variation in reproductive success is important in structuring haplotype diversity. Modern patterns therefore provide little reliable information about the original founders of surnames some 700 years ago. A comparative analysis of published data on Y diversity within Irish surnames demonstrates a relative lack of surname frequency dependence of coancestry, a difference probably mediated through distinct Irish and British demographic histories including even more marked genetic drift in Ireland.

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